US to set free 6,000 inmates earlier than expected

Department of Justice to release around 6,000 inmates within weeks to reduce overcrowding and lessen punishments for non-violent crimes

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Close to 6,000 prisoners condemned on drug-related accusations will be set free between October 30 and November 2 in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief for criminals who received heavy judgement over the past 30 years, the federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed Tuesday.

Before being put on supervised release, about two-thirds of them will go to rehabilitation centers and be placed in home detention.

Moreover, about one-third are foreign inmates who will be rapidly expelled from the country and 8,500 prisoners will be suitable for release beginning in November.

The US Sentencing Commission took the decision to reduce overcrowding in prisons last year.

About 2 years will be cut from the original sentences of most of the 6,000 prisoners due to be released.

"Even with the Sentencing Commission's reductions, drug offenders will have served substantial prison sentences," Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said.

President Obama called on a federal prison in Oklahoma in July to talk with prisoners who were harshly sentenced.

Obama, speaking on crime rates, noted that the US makes up only five percent of the world population but has 25 percent of the world’s inmates.

Obama, calling for the public to give the prisoners a second chance, said, "These are young people who made mistakes that aren’t that different from the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made." 

"The difference is they did not have the kinds of support structures, the second chances, the resources that would allow them to survive those mistakes,” he added.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons there are more than 205,000 inmates currently in federal prisons and by the end of 2016 the population is expected to decrease by 12,000 prisoners.

TRTWorld and agencies